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Spacesuit flaw postpones station repairs to Dec 24

A new flaw has emerged in a US-made spacesuit, forcing NASA to delay until Christmas Eve the next outing to repair the International Space Station, the space agency said Saturday. The problem came up in the cooling unit of veteran astronaut Rick Mastracchio's spacesuit after he re-entered the space station airlock following a spacewalk that lasted 5.5 hours, NASA said. It was not believed to be the same type of issue that caused a dangerous water leak in the helmet of Italian astronaut Luca Parmitano in July. An investigation into that situation is ongoing.

Spacesuit flaw postpones station repairs to Dec 24

A new flaw has emerged with a US-made spacesuit, forcing NASA to delay until Christmas Eve the next outing to repair the International Space Station, the space agency said Saturday. The problem came up in a system that handles water condensation in veteran astronaut Rick Mastracchio's spacesuit after he re-entered the space station airlock following a spacewalk that lasted 5.5 hours, NASA said. It was not believed to be the same type of issue that caused a dangerous water leak in the helmet of Italian astronaut Luca Parmitano in July.

Spacewalking astronauts make speedy station repairs

Two American astronauts made quick progress during a spacewalk outside the International Space Station on Saturday to replace a broken equipment cooling system, NASA said. The risky outing was called for earlier this week after a cooling valve failed on December 11, leaving NASA no other option but to replace an ammonia pump at the orbiting lab. The problem caused a partial shutdown in the system that regulates equipment temperature at the space station, but did not pose any danger to the six-man crew, NASA said.

Spacewalking astronauts make speedy station repairs

Two American astronauts made quick progress during a spacewalk outside the International Space Station on Saturday to replace a broken equipment cooling system, NASA said. The risky outing was called for earlier this week after a cooling valve failed on December 11, leaving NASA no other option but to replace an ammonia pump at the orbiting lab. The problem caused a partial shutdown in the system that regulates equipment temperature at the space station, but did not pose any danger to the six-man crew, NASA said.

US astronauts step out on spacewalk for station repairs

Two US astronauts stepped outside the International Space Station on Saturday for the first of three spacewalks to fix a broken equipment cooling system, NASA said. The spacewalk began at 7:01 am (1201 GMT), a few minutes earlier than planned. It is expected to last six and a half hours. Veteran spacewalker Rick Mastracchio is making his seventh such walk, accompanied by Mike Hopkins, who is making his first venture outside the global research lab.

US astronauts begin spacewalk for station repairs

Two US astronauts on Saturday stepped outside the International Space Station for the first of three spacewalks to fix a broken equipment cooling system, NASA said. "Today's spacewalk has officially begun," said a NASA commentator as the space agency broadcast live images of Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata leading the operation from inside the space station. The spacewalk began at 7:01 am (1201 GMT), a few minutes earlier than planned. It is expected to last six and a half hours.

NASA says spacewalks needed to fix space station pump

Washington, Dec 18 (EFE).- Repairing a faulty cooling pump on the International Space Station will require three spacewalks, NASA said. The two NASA astronauts among ISS Expedition 38's six-person crew, Rick Mastracchio and Mike Hopkins, are scheduled to spend around 6 1/2 hours in space over the course of three separate excursions on Dec. 21, 23 and 25. One of the ISS' two external cooling pumps shut itself down Dec. 11 after sensors detected a temperature anomaly.

NASA mulls spacewalks to fix space station

A series of spacewalks might be necessary to fix a breakdown in the equipment cooling system aboard the International Space Station, NASA said Friday. A US space agency spokesman told AFP that NASA will decide by Monday on the appropriate measures to fix the breakdown, which has posed no danger to the six-man crew. "Station program managers will have further discussions on potential contingency spacewalk planning that could result in multiple spacewalks to replace the pump module beginning as early as late next week," said a NASA statement.

SpaceX to bid for rights to historic NASA launch pad

In a battle of technology titans for the right to lease a historic NASA launch pad in Florida, SpaceX has beat out competitor Blue Origin, the US space agency said Friday. The California-based SpaceX is owned by PayPal co-founder Elon Musk, and Blue Origin is a venture of Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos. "NASA will begin working with SpaceX to negotiate the terms of its lease for LC-39A," the space agency said in a statement, referring to the name of the launchpad.

Amazon founder Bezos' space company loses challenge over NASA launch pad

By Irene Klotz (Reuters) - A commercial space company owned by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has lost a challenge over NASA's plans to lease out one of the space shuttle's dormant launch pads in Florida, officials said on Thursday. The company, Blue Origin, had filed a protest with the U.S. General Accountability Office, which arbitrates federal contract disputes. The GAO said in a decision it denied the company's protest.
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